1. #1
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    May 2003

    Default Hazmat training ideas

    I am looking for some ideas for hazmat training on a volunteer fire department

  2. #2
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    Mar 2004


    Recognition and air monitoring. Lots of air monitoring, starting with flammable liquids/gases and carbon monoxide. You have to relate it to the things they do fairly often on the suppression side. pH is another good one, where it's cheap and easy to do. Use that for finding the battery acid from MVCs and car fires. We carry pH paper in the same case as our 4-gas meters. Lots of hands on with the meters is the key.

    The biggest issue I have on the recognition side is that many people simply say that they will look for the placard. They don't realize that most things don't require placards until there is a lot there, even if a little will hurt you. Go through the different kinds of containers, along with some general awareness. Use meth labs as an example of places where you can unexpectedly encounter hazmat. (Illegal things like drugs and explosives tend to get students' attention.)

  3. #3
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    NorcalMike's Avatar
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    Feb 2003
    Red voter in a Blue State


    You didn't state what level of training you were looking for awareness, operations, technician. I assume that you are not a member of a hazmat team and are looking for awareness or operational level training.

    I agree with the other poster that recognition is the key to hazmat response. Look on the web for pictures of different types of containers. Most hazmats do not need to be placarded if transported in low quantities. There are also special rules of agricultural chemicals. Being able to recognize the presence of a hazmat without a placard is important.

    Use of the emergency response guidebook is also a good drill. Be sure to discuss when to use it and its limitations.

  4. #4
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    Jun 2005

    Default Training Course Outline

    Here is the sort of topic I go through with our Volunteers.

    Hazardous Materials Legislation
    Fire Legislation
    UN Classification System
    Means of Identification
    Other Names
    Kemler Code
    NFPA 704 Hazard Rating
    (HMIS) HazMat Info System
    Emergency Guides
    Vehicle Placards
    Hazardous Substance Incidents
    Working zones
    Hazardous Substance Incidents

    There will always be room for improvement and people have different ideas but it may help to provide a start point.

  5. #5
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    Jan 2004
    Rhode Island


    Check out NFPA 472. This will guide you through the requirements and limitations of each level of training. It doesn't make any sense to do technician level training if you are only certified to the awareness level.

  6. #6
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    N2DFire's Avatar
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    Feb 2000
    S.W. Virginia


    I can't expound on what the others have said enough. Recognition at any level for EVERYONE.

    After many years of preaching this from the standpoint of an Operations Level FF - I went this past weekend and became an instructor for Awareness & Operations. During my class, I had the unique experience of hearing a brief Lecture & Q&A session from the BC that responded to this incident.

    Although he did not mention anything about the tow truck operators or paving inspector being deconed (I assume this is during the recovery & clean-up period after the product was identified) - a total of 7 initial responders (3 Troopers, 3 EMS, and 1 FF) had to be "Emergency Deconed" after walking through spilled product at the onset of the incident thinking it was leaking diesel from the tractor.

    The product was contained in 14 carboys on unrestrained pallets inside a standard cargo trailer, 2 carboys broke free and pushed through the front of the trailer & into what remained of the tractor and then ruptured.

    The Truck carrying the Haz-Mat was the one that did the striking & the truck impacted was an almost stationary box trailer carrying 40,000 Lbs of plywood.

    The moral of the story is recognition, Know what you're getting into and in the case of Haz Mat - don't get into it.


    July 7, 2005 12:00 am
    Frank Hammon
    WFLS News
    Interstate-95 southbound remains closed this morning between Thornburg and Massaponax after an accident involving three tractor trailers.
    State police say the wreck occurred at mile marker 122 clogging the highway for miles. Northbound lanes were also closed, but two of them have since reopened.

    U.S. 1 became clogged with motorists detouring around the mess at one point was also closed for about two hours due to a vehicle fire. That has since been cleared up.

    VDOT spokesowman Tina Bundy says the accident occurred at about 1:40 a.m. as a tractor trailer slowed for an overnight paving operation. A chain-reaction accident followed involving two other tractor trailers. She says one of the trucks was carrying sulfuric acid. State police would only say that several containers filled with a chemical on board one of the trucks had ruptured.

    The Fredericksburg Fire Department HAZMAT Team is on the scene. Bundy says the paving project inspector had to under a decontamination process and is reported to be okay.

    No one on the paving crew was injured.

    The drivers of the trucks are reported to have sustained some injuries. According to State police Sergeant F.L. Tyler they were taken to Mary Washington Hospital.

    Tyler says that the first two troopers who arrived on the sceen came in close contact with the chemical and went to the hospital to get checked. They have since been treated and released.

    People stuck in traffic on the highway have also been told to stay in their cars.

    Authorities indicate it may be hours before the wreckage is cleared and the scene cleaned up.

    Copyright 2005 The Free Lance-Star Publishing Company.

    A triple tractor-trailer accident brought Interstate 95 south of Fredericksburg to a standstill Thursday morning, with major back-ups into the evening. One truck is believed to have spilled the hazardous pesticide propenol.

    Two state troopers and a fire fighter had to be decontaminated and were sent to the hospital and later released. Two of the truck drivers were hospitalized. We have no exact word on the condition of the third.

    Two northbound lanes are now open. Southbound, all lanes are expected to be closed for hours because road work crews must physically remove portions of the interstate. Right now, officials are not offering any time estimate on when the road will reopen.

    State police say around 1 a.m. a southbound tractor-trailer truck slowed as it entered a construction zone and was struck from behind causing a chain reaction crash with three trucks. Two truck drivers were rushed to the hospital. State police believe a third driver may be dead but they are unable to check on his condition because his truck spilled 500 to 1,000 gallons of the hazardous material arch moldicide.

    "The chemical itself is making everything more difficult," says Lt. David Morris, Fredericksburg regional hazmat team. "Obviously if this had been a lesser hazard chemical, we could have gone in and done a lot of things without taking all the precautionary steps that we're doing."

    Adding to the problem, two of the tractor trailer trucks have not been easy to untangle. Plus, the chemical, potentially harmful the environment, has spread beneath the roadway. Officials are hoping they can avoid runoff if it rains. VDOT decided the road needs to be removed and repaved. But, that hasn't been easy. Two tow-truck drivers Thursday evening came into contact with the chemical and had to be decontaminated.

    Crews want to get I-95 back open as soon as possible. Right now, officials are not offering any time estimate on when the road will reopen. They're just hoping they can avoid runoff of the chemical.

    The interstate is backed up from mile marker 122 to the Alexandria area. Drivers are encouraged to take Route 1 or Route 301. To access Route 1, take the Carmel Church or Doswell exit. To access Route 301, take the Doswell or the Ashland exit.

    (c) 2005. Jefferson Pilot Communications Company of Virginia. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
    Take Care - Stay Safe - God Bless

  7. #7
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    Aug 2005

    Default training

    being able to understand how to use the erg is very important at any level. that would be a good place to start. we do drill with barrels and dye packs. just doing diking and damming is go practice with my volly's

  8. #8
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    skeeter6585's Avatar
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    Feb 2004
    In a van down by the river.


    I need to agree with everyone else on this one. Knowing what you go is always a good thing. Set up different chemical containers and make or printout different placards. Going over the DOT Placard system helped my crew out alot. And if you have any hazmat equipment, be sure that they are up to date on the operation of it.

    When you get done with the basic stuff that other people have talked about, step it up a notch. I'm not sure about the requirements where you are, but there are some things you could still do:

    Basic Chemistry, Patching and Plugging, Building Dikes and Dams, etc. You can build a nice patching and plugging trainier using PVC piping, and a hose adaptor (garden hose) for around $20.00 or so.

    PVC patching and pluggin trainer:

    -20 feet or 1.5" pipe (bigger or smaller, depending on what you want)
    -Various T's and connectors
    -Adaptor to connect to a garden hose
    -Purple PVC Primer
    -PVC Cement
    (remember to prime the PVC with the purple primer, then seal it with the Cement)

    Cut in various lengths the PVC. Use the T's and connectors to create a tree like figure (or something that you pick). Put the adaptor at one end and cap the rest. Prime and cement all the pieces together. Pressure test for leaks with the garden hose. Then drill and cut different size hose in the PVC. Don't cut too many, because you wont have alot of pressure.

    See if any of this works for you guys, it works great for us.

  9. #9
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    dmleblanc's Avatar
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    Jul 2001
    Not the end of the earth but I can see it from here...


    Quote Originally Posted by mjteague
    Most hazmats do not need to be placarded if transported in low quantities. .
    Very true....a tanker carrying butane must be placarded. A box trailer carrying 3 million BIC lighters...no placard...

    The scariest I've seen recently is one of those trucks that delivers the exchangable propane cylinders to Home Depot, convenience stores, and what have you. Looks just like a beer truck. No placards or warnings whatsoever. Slap full of 5 gallon propane cylinders "Consumer commodities" they call it......

    As far as training goes, unless you are planning on fielding a full fledged Hazmat team, don't mess with the patching and plugging....that's operations level stuff and if you plan to operate at that level you'll need a ton of equipment and more training than the average volunteer can probably commit to. Focus on awareness, hazmat identification, maybe some defensive measures (diking and damming), and emergency decon procedures.

    Make sure every member is familiar with the North American Emergency Response Guide and how to use it. And keep a current copy on every apparatus.
    Chief Dwayne LeBlanc
    Paincourtville Volunteer Fire Department
    Paincourtville, LA

    "I have a dream. It's not a big dream, it's just a little dream. My dream and I hope you don't find this too crazy is that I would like the people of this community to feel that if, God forbid, there were a fire, calling the fire department would actually be a wise thing to do. You can't have people, if their houses are burning down, saying, 'Whatever you do, don't call the fire department!' That would be bad."
    C.D. Bales, "Roxanne"

  10. #10
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    Apr 2003
    Cedarburg, WI


    Fire2005 - Hazmat response in the fire service requires compliance with NFPA472 and OSHA29CFR1910.120(q). There are specific training criteria that must be met for both the initial training and also the annual refresher training. Many depts are not in compliance with OSHA because they fail to provide operations level refresher training or "certify competency" on an annual basis.

    As others have pointed out in previous posts, it all starts with the basics of recoginition, isolation, identification and notification. ICS is also a very important component, as well as NIMS - if you want the feds money.

    I see from your profile that you reside in WI. You should get in touch with your Regional Response Level A Team or the county Emergency Management Director for a local contact. Hazmat training needs to be performed by a qualified instructor, and there are federal/state training $$$ out there waiting to be used.

    If you still need help, post back & I'll send you my e-mail.

  11. #11
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    Oct 2003


    This might be something you are interested in. The first deals with Pesticide labels. I obtained a short quiz relating to items that NFPA 472 states responders must show proficiency in. The crews go out in our response district and answer questions based on the pesticide labels they find. They get credit only if they actually turn this paperwork in, and its signed by an officer. I do something very similiar with MSDS sheets. Many of my crews have come back suggesting more activities like this because it makes them think. Hope this helps.....

  12. #12
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    Sep 2005



    The scariest I've seen recently is one of those trucks that delivers the exchangable propane cylinders to Home Depot, convenience stores, and what have you. Looks just like a beer truck. No placards or warnings whatsoever. Slap full of 5 gallon propane cylinders "Consumer commodities" they call it......

    I thought it was illegal to transport propane tanks already filled up and ready to hook up? or were you talking about transport cylinders??

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